Bruce Gordon Willson, Sr.
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A memorial service will be held for Bruce G. Willson, Sr. of Monroe, at two o'clock on the afternoon of Wednesday, January 15th, at Parkview Baptist Church, 1001 Forsythe Avenue, Monroe. Interment will be in the Mulhearn Memorial Park Cemetery. Visitation will be at Mulhearn Funeral Home on Highway 165 in Monroe on Tuesday evening from four to six.
Bruce Gordon Willson was born in Modesto, California to Lewis W. Willson and Helen Keirn Willson on January 18, 1932 and entered the presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on January 10, 2014.
Bruce married Martha Ann Albritton of Jacksonville, Texas on October 3, 1953 and is survived by her and their sons, Bruce Gordon Willson, Jr. and his wife, Kathy (KK); Dale Keirn Willson and his wife, Kathleen; William Edmund (Bill) Willson and his wife, Marion. He had seven grandchildren (Trey, Rachel, Abby, Keirn, Chase, Edmund and Gordon) and two great-grandchildren (Grant and Adon). All of these will cherish his memory and treasure his example of faith, integrity and unwavering commitment.
In high school he earned his Eagle Scout designation and was invited to be a member of the "Order of the Arrow", in the Boy Scouts of America. He was a member of the National Honor Society, and lettered in football. He graduated from Grass Valley High School, Grass Valley, California in 1949 and continued on to play football at Placer Junior College in Auburn, California in 1951, prior to joining the United States Air Force. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant following his graduation from cadet flight training in 1953 at Reece Air Base in Lubbock, Texas and eventually rose to the rank of First Lieutenant. He was stationed at Mather Air Base, Sacramento, California; Donaldson Air Base, Greenville, South Carolina; Toul-Rosières Air Base, Toul, France; and Everveux-Fauville Air Base, Everveux, France. Upon being honorably discharged in 1956, he continued to serve in the United States Air Force Reserve until 1968. Following his active duty as a Flight Commander and Instructor Pilot, he enrolled at Texas A&M University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering in 1958.
Upon graduation from Texas A&M he was hired by Columbian Chemicals Company as an Assistant Quality Control Engineer at their plant in Seagraves, Texas. In 1960, he was promoted to Assistant Plant Manager of the North Bend Plant in Franklin, Louisiana. His next assignment was a promotion to Plant Manager in Santos, Brazil, of Columbian's production company in South America, Copebras. In 1965 he was again promoted as Plant Manager, at Columbian's largest production facility, North Bend, in Franklin, Louisiana. In 1968, he became Superintendent of Production for all of Columbian Chemical Company and moved to Monroe. He remained employed with Columbian in Monroe until 1988, when he retired as Vice-President of Manufacturing, responsible for the operations and profitability of twelve plants world-wide. Upon his retirement from Colombian Chemicals, he was hired as a Consultant for Louisiana Tech's College of Engineering, managing their Energy Analysis and Diagnostic Center. He worked with the University for several years in this capacity.
Bruce was greatly involved in his community and his church. He served as an Indian Guide leader, a football coach for the Y.M.C.A. and a basketball coach for the 9th Grade Royal Ambassadors, who won the state championship that year. He was a faithful member for 45 years of Parkview Baptist Church. He served as a Sunday School teacher, youth sponsor, counselor and driver of the ski boat at Camp Taneko for 10 years, and as a deacon for decades. He and Martha and their boys enjoyed much fun with their friends in the church, playing Volleyball at the Y.M.C.A. on Friday nights and then boating on the Ouachita River on Saturdays, as well as camping during the summer on Lake Ouachita. Later, they traveled with Lee and Lottie Estes and others on numerous trips both domestically and internationally.
Proverbs, Chapter Seventeen, Verse Six says, "Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers." Well done good and faithful servant!
Memorials may be made to the youth program of Parkview Baptist Church or the Louisiana Baptist Children's Home.
Online Registry/Condolences: www.mulhearnfuneralhome.com
Mulhearn Funeral Home
Mulhearn Funeral Home Inc
2308 Sterlington Rd
Monroe, LA 71203
Published in The News Star from Jan. 13 to Jan. 15, 2014